Bass Tuba English
Basstuba German
Tuba Bass English
Contra Tuba English
Double Tuba English
Tuba Profunda (unknown)

According to the literature, these names all refer to some sort of Tuba of 16' pitch, or sometimes 32'. Bonavia-Hunt and Wedgwood report that the Tuba Profunda is a 16' Tuba Sonora, and Bonavia-Hunt lists Tuba Bass as a synonym. Audsley describes Bass Tuba,Contra Tuba and Tuba Profunda as synonyms for the most powerful 16' reed stop, having a “singularly grand and impressive” tone, imitative of the orchestral instrument of the same name, speaking on 15"-30" of wind, and utilizing inverted-conical resonators of thick metal. Irwin lists Contra Tuba, Double Tuba and Tuba Profunda with the following description:

A loud, penetrating, firm-toned Chorus Reed of 16' on the manuals, and 32' on the pedals. The rolling and brassy tone that comes from these long inverted-conical pipes (sometimes made from wood) is quite brilliant, but has varying degrees of clang-tone in the many examples heard. Its distnguishing mark is its firmness of pitch, although most examples lack the heavy ground tone of the Contra Bombarde.

In theatre organs, according to Strony, the name Tuba Profunda is synonymous with Ophicleide, and is commonly used for the 16' Tuba Horn or Harmonic Tuba.


Tuba Profundissima.


No examples of Tuba Bass are known. Contributions welcome.

Basstuba 8', Pedal; St. Martin, Dornbirn, Austria; Behmann 1927.

Basstuba 16', Pedal; St. John the Baptist, London/Kensington, England; Gern 1897, Willis 1928. (This example is a Willis extension of a Gern 8' Tuba.)

Bass Tuba 16', Pedal; Woolsey Hall, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; Skinner 1928. (This is actually duplexed from the Solo 16' Ophicleide.)

Basstuba 16', Pedal; Hans Sachs Haus, Gelsenkirchen, Germany; Walcker 1927.

Double Tuba 16' (TC), Solo; Islington United Church, Toronto, Canada; Schoenstein. (Unified from an 8' Tuba.)

Double Tuba 16', Solo; St. George's Hall, Liverpool, England, Willis 1855. (May be a later addition.)

Contra Tuba 16', Solo; Town Hall, Sydney, Australia; Hill 1886-90.

Contra Tuba 32', Pedal; Priory, Bridlington, Yorkshire, England; Anneessens 1889.

Tuba Profunda 16', Great; Worcester Cathedral, Worcester, England; Hope-Jones 1896.

Tuba Profunda 16', Pedal; Washington Irving High School, New York City, New York, USA; Moller 1919.

Tuba Profunda 16', Solo; City Hall, Portland, Maine, USA; Austin 1912.


Audsley[1]: Bass Tuba; Contra Tuba; Tuba Profunda. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Bass Tuba; Contra-Tuba. Bonavia-Hunt[1]: Trombone; Tuba Profunda. Irwin[1]: Contra Tuba. Maclean[1]: Tuba. Skinner[1]: XII Tuba Profunda. Strony[1]: Tuba Horn, Tuba Profunda. Wedgwood[1]: Tuba Profunda.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
BassTuba.html - Last updated 27 January 2002.
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